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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

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Soccer Mommy Hints at New Sound at Mission Creek Festival

Overall, Soccer Mommy earned the headline spot at Mission Creek Festival with their bright-sounding indie underpinning the deeper, darker meaning looming in the lyrics. Sometimes, Forever releases June 24th and can be pre-ordered through her website. 

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On Cloud Nine with Beach Bunny

Beach Bunny had had their first performance of their tour at the Englert Theatre. The theater quickly filled with excited young bodies thrilled to see Beach Bunny live.

Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

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Earl Sweatshirt – SICK! On the newest album from Earl Sweatshirt, the rapper continues his streak of thoughtful and melancholic bars–this time with a slightly more approachable selection of beats, supplied by the likes of The Alchemist and Black Noi$e. Avant jazz is still a key piece of the production, though some of the pianos here have a midi sheen to them, and some of the trap-influenced drum tracks will be familiar to fans of contemporary hip hop. One such track featuring this style of production is “2010”, with a bright, yet off-kilter synth loop. Here, as with many spots … Continued

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The Body & BIG|BRAVE – Leaving None But Small Birds  The Body and BIG|BRAVE have each earned their tenure in metal, but together they have created an album that defies any preconceived notions one might have had for them. On Leaving None But Small Birds, both bands veer into a brand of folk rock that is rife with an eerie grit. Twangy layered strings mesh with the heavy distortion of guitars that both The Body and BIG|BRAVE are known for, creating a delicate and foreboding atmosphere. Similarly, the guttural shrieks and growls of The Body are replaced by the haunting croons of BIG|BRAVE’s lead vocalist Robin … Continued

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Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States Aussie noise rock band Tropical Fuck Storm’s third album, Deep States, is as messy and disorienting as the doomed political landscape it was birthed out of. Reflecting mind-poisoning social media discourse twisted through the filter of a distortion pedal, vocalists Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin deliver some of their most compelling melodies over lacerating guitar and synth lines. The opening track, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, writes from the perspective of Jesus’ second coming to Earth to proclaim in a grand chorus “There ain’t no end of days.” Even at its loudest, a sense … Continued

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Spellling – The Turning Wheel The Turning Wheel, Chrystia Cabral’s third album under the project Spellling, offers bewitchingly captivating progressive folk and neo-soul songs. A shift towards natural instrumentation marks a stark change from 2019’s synth-heavy Mazy Fly, giving these songs a new liveliness, and pushing Cabral’s songwriting towards the theatrical. The sonic palette on its own can be bewildering at first–veering off without warning into performances of soul, hard rock, classical, folk, and of course, synthwave. It’s no surprise that the personnel list reveals more than thirty performers–all of whom sound great. The songs are left with an enchanting … Continued

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Squid – Bright Green Field Long before the release of their debut LP, Squid has been making waves in the post-punk community with their own brand of angular and uniquely provocative songwriting that has set them apart from peers in the genre. With the often deranged and purposely erratic vocal delivery of singer Ollie Judge and the driving pseudo-punk melodies conducted by the rest of the band, there is no doubt the group has emotional, musical, and lyrical potency. In their most recent works, including the two singles they released in 2020 and their latest LP, Squid has begun to incorporate … Continued

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Written contributions by Jaden Amjadi, Derek Tate, and Jake Bisson Jeff Rosenstock – N O D R E A M Throughout his career, though especially the last decade of it, Jeff Rosenstock has done more than possibly any artist to remove the stigma from pop-punk. His earworm melodies, impassioned shouts, and nervous energy consistently produce cathartic listening experiences. His newest effort, the surprise-release N O D R E A M, is no exception to this rule. Acting as a soundtrack to yet another anxious breakdown, songs respond to perceived personal inadequacies (“Old Crap”, “Beauty of Breathing”) and political helplessness (“Scram!”, “N O D R E A M”). While many tracks aren’t more than four minutes, most have a tremendous sense of pacing and dynamism, never wearing out a melodic or sonic idea before moving onto the next. The title track’s different musical phases cover a … Continued

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